Doncic picks gold with Slovenia over NBA ring

Donatas Urbonas
Senior Staff Writer
2021-07-03 18:10
Credit: FIBA
Credit FIBA

Luka Doncic switched into a higher gear. Slovenia beat Venezuela by 28 points 98:70, and Luka Doncic was only one rebound shy of his first triple-double with the Slovenia National Team.

But it was not that easy. For the first time in Olympic Qualifying Tournament in Kaunas, Slovenia didn’t score 60 first-half points. Venezuela contained them to 48 and only a 7-point lead after the two quarters.

"We need to give credit to Venezuela. They played a great game," coach Aleksander Sekulic said. "The way they played defense and challenged us... We need to make some adjustments."

Luka Doncic

Luka  Doncic
Luka  Doncic
MIN: 34.84
PTS: 28.49 (53.84%)
REB: 7.96
As: 8.75
ST: 1
BL: 0.53
TO: 4.29
GM: 73

Doncic also had to make some adjustments. He played his highest-scoring game with 23 points (7/11 FGs), 9 rebounds, and 13 assists. 

"They were very aggressive. Especially in the beginning, it was tough, and they were really close," Doncic added.

OQT final in Kaunas is scheduled for Sunday. Slovenia National Team is only one victory away from their first Olympic appearance ever.

There is no doubt what it would mean for Luka to celebrate this historic moment in Zalgirio Arena. Lithuania with its Twin Towers will try not to let that happen though.

"It would be amazing. It would be a dream to be in the Olympics. Not just for me, but the whole federation and all country. They really cheer for us. I really hope for that because I really want it," Doncic told. "We have to be really ready. Lithuania has two NBA guys, and it's going to be really tough to stop them. Lithuania has an amazing team."

Asked what's more important for him - to win a gold medal for his country or the NBA champions ring, Luka didn't hesitate.

"I would say gold medal with Slovenia. You play for your country, and that’s something that’s really, really... But I wouldn’t mind both," Luka smiled.


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